Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I CAN BAKE TOO!!! Raspberry & White Choc Muffins!

For those who have been following my blog or know me in person should know that I can't bake. Not that I didn't try, but somehow the end result always ended up in the rubbish bin. A classic example was my big-time failure Meat Floss Swissroll that is inedible at all! But today, I am so excited because I finally baked something that is not only edible, but very tasty as well.

And here, presenting my gorgeous-looking Raspberry & White Choc Muffins!! 1

Err.....I have a confession to make. The credit to my success actually goes to this premix that I got from Coles supermarket. Yes yes yes...stop rolling eyes there. I know I cheated!!! Well, for big-time failure like me, I need something like this to boost up my confidence (excuse excuse). Anyway, I was strolling down the aisle today when I saw this Coles housebrand muffin mix on sale. The instructions were pretty easy to me, so I bought it and decided to bake it today to surprise my sis when she get home from work.
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The box came with a packet of cake mix and a packet of raspberry sauce. It only requires butter, an egg and some milk. SO EASY! I don't even need to dig out the weighing scale and no heavy washing too!
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The whole process took me less than 5 minutes!
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I found out that I don't even know how to swirl!!! Look at the mess I made.
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I am very happy with the end result. The gorgeous muffins turned out really moist and soft. Surprisingly, not as sweet as I thought it would be. Now I am so looking forward to see what other flavours they have as well. Hmmm...maybe I should get a few boxes to bring home next year so that I could bake some for Chinese New Year!! Anyway, got to go make myself a nice cup of English tea to go with my muffins now...ciao!!
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Friday, October 16, 2009

LUNCH @ SEK YUEN, JALAN PUDU, K.L.

While my pot of soup consisting of pork stomach, pork ribs, beancurd sheets, gingko nuts and dried scallops is bubbling away nicely on the stove, I have a sudden urge to do a food post. With the nice aroma of pork stomach and ribs filling every inches of the house (Oppss!! Excuse me, I need to close all the bedroom doors!), I suddenly recalled a very satisfying lunch I had with my Makan Gang before I left for Melbourne.

Our lunch at Sek Yuen Restaurant located at Jalan Pudu was one of the many many meals we had that day. My first visit to this famous old Chinese restaurant two years back was memorable for a good reason. It was the first time I had "Stuffed Duck with Shark's Fin", a very luxurious dish that came with a hefty price tag. You can read all about my first visit to Sek Yuen here.

Being the 2nd stop of the day (we had 2 set lunches at Max iHaus earlier), we decided to go 'light'! Wong told me earlier that I should give their Pork Stomach with Pepper soup a try....and he was right, it was absolutely awesome! The soup was sweet and flavourful with just the right amount of peppery to it. Lots of soft chicken feet to munch on and of course not forgetting the soft yet chewy chunks of pork stomach. Never had such good soup elsewhere before.
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The Stir-fry Beef with Chives was good too. Full of 'wok hei' and I just love the taste of chives. I am not so into 'soda-marinated' meat though but I could imagine how lovely this dish would be if crunchy chicken giblets were used instead. I wouldn't even mind a plate of plain stir-fry chives!
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Crispy on the outside, the flesh of this Deep Fried Grass Carp Belly was soft and juicy. Drizzled with light soya sauce, a bowl of white rice is a must!
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Their Deep Fried Chinese Spring Rolls reminded me of my late mum as she used to make this only during special Chinese festivals. A very time consuming dish and what makes it tasty was the pig's caul she used to roll the pork meat paste together. Pig's caul are thin, transparent piece of fat that looks almost like a net, hence we call it "Jue Moong Yau" or directly translate as "Pig's Net Oil" in Cantonese. Hard to find from the butcher nowadays so the last time my mum made this, I was still a very little girl. Coming back to this dish, Sek Yuen did it well too although I still find my mum's the best. The pork paste was tasty and I enjoyed biting into the savoury crispy skin.
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Sitting right in front of the kitchen entrance does have its advantages. Wong saw this dish of Cold Chicken being whisked pass our table. Available in either small or large serving, we were told that they were only left with the large portion. Do order in advance if you intend to try this dish, as ample time is required to thaw this dish. Taken out from the freezer, this cold dish consisting of deboned whole chicken and jellyfish were drizzled with thick thousand island lookalike sauce. Luckily weather was scorching hot the day we went, the dish thawed pretty fast. Looking back at my first post on Sek Yuen, it turned out that we had this before in our 4 - Season Platter! Not too bad but I do find the sauce a bit too rich and thick, perhaps should ask them to serve that aside instead.
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Once again, Sek Yuen didn't fail to disappoint. It was a good lunch and memorable too as the taste of the Pork Stomach soup is still lingering in my mind. Speaking of soup, mine should be ready by now. Time to go and grab myself a bowl to warm myself up!

Sek Yuen is located at:
313-1, Jalan Pudu, KL (non airconditioned)
315, Jalan Pudu KL (airconditioned)
Tel: 03-92220903

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tesselaar Tulip Festival 2009

After the disappointed weekend spent seeking shelter from the rain at the Warratina Lavender Farm, we made a trip back to the Dandenong Ranges the following Sunday and this time round, the weather was perfect! We finally made it to the 2009 Tesselaar Tulip Festival which is an annual event held at the Tesselaar Farm in Silvan, Victoria. 2

According to their information booklet, there are more than a million spring flowers on show including over 100 different varieties of tulips! Not surprising at all when we were greeted by the amazing colourful tulip field as we entered the farm. We were practically drown in the sea of tulips!! Armed with my camera, I excitedly hopping from one row of tulips to the next, happily snapping away. Imagine my misery when I came home with more than 250 photos and I have to crack my head to select only a fraction of the pics to post up here!! 7

I am so glad that my nephew is just not into electronic games and boys' stuff. He was as excited as his crazy yiyi (me!).
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My favourite colour of all....PURPLE! I kept telling myself to behave...no itchy finger! And I was a very very good girl that day... *proud proud* 8

Isn't this deep purple tulip beautiful? If not mistaken, this is called Queen of the Night. It has got such a mysterious feel to it, don't you think? 9

I love these bunches in a mixture of pink and white too. I was surprised when my nephew told me that the pink tulips were the nicest among the rest. Cos to him, pink is always for girls and big NO-NO for boys!
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So pretty, I should have chosen this for my wedding bouquet! Speaking of wedding, I saw a couple taking their wedding shots at the farm. Am sure it would turn out really awesome. Sigh...if only I could turn back time, I will surely take my wedding shots here too! 11

Light yellow with pink combo.....sweet! 12

Red with white combo...also very nice!!!!
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In full bloom....not exactly my kind of colour but wouldn't mind to have a bunch of these in my garden.
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Last chance to show off its beauty before it wither away.... 16

Apart from the common variety, I was amazed to find lots of amazing hybrid tulips such as these Angelique Tulip. Full of gorgeous baby-pink petals and it resembles Peony! Really beautiful!
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Don't really fancy pink?? What about this?? Dark red with white stripes?? Equally as beautiful! 18
Or these??? Yellow-Orangey bloom??

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Dunno the name for this variety but I find it very beautiful too! 20

Ever seen tulip petals with fringe before?? These are called Fringed Tulips! 21
Red Fringed Tulips...
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I find these Spring Green Tulips so classical and elegant. I can imagine how lovely it would be in a wedding bouquet!
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Rose? Nope...this is just a Rose-Lookalike-Tulip! 25

Enough of tulips for now....time for lunch!! There are picnic area's in the farm as well as various food stalls offering delicious goodies. But what could be better than to enjoy a tasty meal of homecooked fried rice overloaded with 'char siu'?? 26

My nephew said that the highlight of the trip was his packet of blue candy floss! 27

My sis said these are prettier than the tulips! Tried googling to see what they are called but I couldn't find anything, anyone any idea?? 28
Daffodils!!!
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Love these too but no idea what they are called. Are they wild flowers? 31
Lastly, the Azalea!
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On the way out, we spotted this stall selling bright colourful garden decorative windmill. I would have checked out the prices if Obama didn't distract my attention...Obama who?? 33

Meet Obama....a 5-month old Labrador. Lots of 'Seeing Eye Dog' were brought to the farm for a walk, probably to train them before they become a full-time guide dog. Sis asked if I am keen to volunteer by becoming a puppy carer, but knowing with my low EQ, it would be too heartbreaking when the time comes for me to return the pup back to the foundation. 34

Started drizzling by the time we were about to leave the farm and that was also the time when the crowd started coming in. Everyone was drenching in the rain waiting to get into the farm!!
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The queue was at least half a kilometer long..no kidding!! 36

On the way out, the rain was getting heavier, just like the traffic heading towards the Tulip Festival!! I guess everyone is rushing to the festival cos it is going to end tomorrow. 38

For more information on the Tessalaar Tulip Festival, check out there website here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

CROCS ATTACK!!


CROCS at AUD 9.99 (~RM30) per pair; all designs, all colours, all sizes!!!
And yes, it's ORIGINAL!!

We were so lucky to have walked into Dimmeys Retail Store last weekend, a place where we only go once in a blue moon. Imagine our excitement when we saw the 'mountains' of Crocs greeting us as we entered the store. We joined in the busy crowd (all women), searching and digging for our sizes....grabbing whatever we could. My first basket of Crocs. Well, at least mine was a small basket, I spotted a women filling up her big trolley with Crocs!!

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Also managed to grab some for Hubby, my dad and in-laws!
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Bought this on Saturday!
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We went back the next day (Sunday) and the day after (Monday) to grab more!
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I love these Mary Jane the most...aren't they sweet looking?? I have checked, these are selling at RM129 per pair in Malaysia and I got them for RM30 per pair!!
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My awesome Brinjal Purple and Violet Mary Jane. Swapped the straps and it look sooo COOL! I could even go out like this!!!!
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Went to the Tulip Festival last Sunday wearing my Brinjal Purple Croc and I blended in with this photo!! Hahaha!!
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With so many Crocs now, it's time to beautify them...next mission??? Ebay for jibbitz!!

For Crocs fans in Ozzieland, quickly go to Dimmeys store NOW!!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

WARRATINA LAVENDER FARM

We are officially into the second month of Spring now...and I have been looking forward to visit the Tesselaar Tulip Festival which has started since mid-September. I was really excited as I always love tulips. Did you know I actually ordered fresh tulips imported all the way from Australia for my wedding bouquet? It was a lovely combination of orangey yellow tulips with beige roses...ahh, if only I have the picture with me now. Anyway, we were all set to visit the tulip farm last Sunday despite the gloomy cloud warning us not to go. Armed with out picnic bag filled with containers of my awesome homecooked nasi lemak and sinful snacks, we decided to try our luck.

Unfortunately, it was raining...err...let me rephrase...it was POURING!! We ended up parking our car overlooking the tulip farm and had a scrumptous picnic inside instead. I was a little bit disappointed, but it turned out that my nephew is even more disappointed.
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After the picnic lunch inside the car, we decided to head home since the dark sky is not going to stop pouring anytime soon. On way back, we saw a signboard leading to a nearby lavendar farm. Lavendar is my favourite flower too!!! The lavender farm we visited is called Warratina which is located at the foothill of Dandenong Ranges. Not much to see though as most of the lavendar bushes were pruned to almost bald. Just one row is left with the fragrant purplish bloom. Just googled and found out that the best time to visit lavendar farm is between early Summer to late Summer..*I must jot this down somewhere*


The Blooming and the Bald (behind).
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We headed straight to the Lavender Cottage Tea Rooms...what could be better than to have a cup of hot tea on a cold rainy day?
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I was totally in love with the cosy tea room. Lavenders were everywhere! There is also a small gift store next to the tea room offering a variety of products made from lavender. Saw a thick cookbook on using lavender in your cooking....I was tempted till I saw the price..gulp!
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Initially I thought of having tea but I need my coffee fix so I opted for Latte instead. It is almost impossible to find a bad cup of Latte in Melbourne (homemade doesn't count!).
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We ordered a set of two scones to share; one original flavour and the other?? Lavender of course!
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Served with cream and homemade raspberry jam, the scones were fanta-bulous! Crisp crust with buttery fluffly texture, good enough a reason to revisit when I am around that area next time.
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Saving my favourite picture of all for the last, don't they look so so so so pretty?? As for the tulips...well well, we are going again this Sunday and hopefully it will be bright and sunny *keeping my fingers crossed*!
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Warrantina Lavender Farm is located at:

105 Quayle Road,
Wandin Yallock, Victoria (Melways Ref 121 F1)
Open Wednesday to Sunday; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Website: http://warrantinalavender.com.au

 

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